Forget Recovery: Coronavirus could get 10 times more infectious

Forget recovery: Coronavirus could get 10 times more infectious
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It was known and reported by a TravelNewsGroup publication already in May and kept quiet. Now a Malaysian expert is sounding the alarm bell in saying:

The risk of getting infected by COVID-19 could become 10 times higher, according to a study released today in Malaysia. Malaysia detected a new coronavirus strain that is ten times more infectious, said Dr. Noor Hisham bin Abdullah, a Malaysian endocrine surgeon who has served as the Director-General of Health since March 2013. He is widely known for playing an outstanding and prominent role in leading Malaysia to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

TravelWireNews already reported about the strain of COVID-19 in May based on reports by Russian RT. This report was dismissed by western media.

The TravelWireNews (sister publication of eTurboNews) reported in May 2020: An early May research, which was carried out by a joint American and British team led by Los Alamos National Laboratory. It was released ahead of peer review as ‘an early warning’ to other researchers. As it stands, scientists studying the coronavirus around the world may have been analyzing the genetic sequence of the older strain, and therefore it is crucial that they collaborate with this team to get the latest information. “We cannot afford to be blindsided as we move vaccines and antibodies into clinical testing,” the lead author Dr Bette Korber, known for her work on HIV, said.

Because the paper has not yet been peer-reviewed, it has been published online on the server BioRxiv. However, the reputations of the scientists involved suggest that the findings are sound and must be taken with the utmost seriousness — the report is 33 pages long, and short on laughs. “This is hard news,’’ said Korber of the findings.

The mutation, earlier seen in other parts of the world and called D614G, was found in at least three of the 45 cases in a cluster that started from a restaurant owner returning from India and breaching his 14-day home quarantine. The man has since been sentenced to five months in prison and fined. The strain was also found in another cluster involving people returning from the Philippines.

US Top immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci now says new mutation may speed the spread of coronavirus. The strain could mean that existing studies on vaccines may be incomplete or ineffective against the mutation, said Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah.

“The D614G mutation makes the virus more infectious. It can spread faster and overwhelm the healthcare systems if we don’t double our control efforts,” Dr. Edsel Salvana stated

Dr. Salvana is the Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the National Institutes of Health at the University of the Philippines Manila, and is Clinical Associate Professor and Research Coordinator at the Section of Infectious Diseases of the Department of Medicine at the Philippine General Hospital. He is also Adjunct Professor for Global Health at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently the head of the subcommittee for HIV of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and led the formulation of local clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of opportunistic infections in HIV. He also sits as an institutional representative on the Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism.

The mutation has become the predominant variant in Europe and the U.S., with the World Health Organization saying there’s no evidence the strain leads to more severe disease. A paper published in Cell Press and used as a reference for a research paper by BestCustomWriting said the mutation is unlikely to have a major impact on the efficacy of vaccines currently being developed.

The D614G mutation in SARS-CoV-2 is infamous for its rising dominance worldwide. This mutation changes the amino acid at position 614, from D (aspartic acid) to G (glycine) — so, D-614-G. The initial D614 is now the G614 variant. The question is: What real-life implications do this mutation or G614 variant brings, in terms of transmission, disease severity, treatment, and vaccines?

In a July study printed in Cell, Dr. Bette Korber, a computational biologist, and population geneticist, and colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory analyzed SARS-CoV-2 sequences from 999 patients in the UK. Results showed patients infected with the G614 variant had a higher viral load compared to D614. In human cell cultures in a lab dish, Korber et al. showed that the G614 variant displayed increased infectivity than D614.

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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